Archive for October, 2012

CEC Invites Renowned Professors and Sustainability Experts to Present Groundbreaking Research on Local Food

As part of the Community Environmental Council’s long running Partnership Council Breakfast series, the Santa Barbara based non-profit invited UCSB Professor and internationally renowned agri-food systems expert David Cleveland and Sustainable Food Systems Consultant and Innovator Seth Nickinson to present the findings of their pioneering research into food related greenhouse gas emissions and how they relate to both local and national food systems.  While their talk specifically focused on the Santa Barbara County area, many of the ideas and concepts presented were applicable to any locale.  The research presented by the duo was both enlightening and shocking, revealing often overlooked, but hugely significant sources of greenhouse gasses from food systems (growing, harvesting, processing, transport, retailing, storage, disposal, etc.).  Additionally the duo presented ground-breaking research on how diet relates to greenhouse gas emissions and hence contributes to climate change.

For instance, by cutting out red meat and dairy from your diet just one day a week, it would be equivalent to a reduction in greenhouse grasses comparable to switching your entire diet to only locally grown food, which, while possible, can be difficult for many people.  While most scientific research done nowadays is mostly theoretical and hard to apply to real world scenarios, the research presented by Cleveland and Nickinson was at once easily understandable and accessible to those not involved in academia.  Very real changes with significant environmental impacts could be made immediately if one was so inclined to simply avoid foods or decide to focus on purchasing as many local products as possible.

The talk was moderated by Krista Harris, Editor of Edible Santa Barbara, a free-but-stylish-and-sophisticated quarterly magazine focused on the local, artisan food movement in Santa Barbara County.  Krista’s insightful commentary and knowledgeability about all things local perfectly complemented the presentation.  Anyone interested in staying up to date on the burgeoning local food movement is advised to check out her publication here: Edible Santa Barbara.

CEC Partnership Breakfast Local Food 3

Professor David Cleveland and Sustainability Consultant and Activist Seth Nickinson present ground-breaking food systems research

Save the World With $20: How Microcredit Lending Can Make a Huge Impact

It’s true, you can make a huge impact on someone’s life with only $20.   For the same price as a meal at your favorite restaurant you could fund an aspiring entrepreneur in a developing country and help them break the vicious cycle of poverty that puts a glass ceiling on what they can achieve.

In the 1980’s Muhammed Yunnus began studying societal trends in developing countries and had the incredible realization that by giving individuals small loans at fair interest rates, they could effectively lift themselves out of poverty.  Today, there are over 3,600 micro lending institutions worldwide helping over 75 million people at any given moment.

Microcredit lending works in the same way as a traditional loan, only with smaller amounts of money.  In third world countries, whose cost of living is often only a fraction of that in developed nations, it doesn’t take much capital to make a major difference.  For as little as $100 (in certain countries), an aspiring entrepreneur can open a shop or purchase supplies to start a craft or food business and ultimately lift themselves out of poverty permanently.

The infographic below created by CreditScore.net provides an excellent explanation of the microcredit concept.

Image Credit: Creditscore.net

Be Green Packaging is a long-time supporter of the Whole Planet Foundation, a international non-profit organization which has disbursed over $135 million to microcredit lending programs worldwide since its inception.  To learn more about the Whole Planet Foundation and their mission visit them here: Whole Planet Foundation.

Community Environmental Council Hosts Annual Green Gala Fundraiser; Be Green Joins in the Festivities

This past weekend, the Community Environmental Council (CEC) threw the ‘greenest party of the year’ at the historic Armory building in downtown Santa Barbara.  The event, which attracts local environmental, business, innovation, and philanthropic leaders, is intended to help the CEC reach its annual fundraising goals so that the organization can continue its tireless mission of promoting environmental education and social change in the Santa Barbara region.  Of the many things the CEC is known for, putting on incredible, awareness-raising events is definitely near the top of the list and this years Green Gala was no exception.  This years event featured artisan foods and decorations from throughout Santa Barbara county as well as an incredible LED light display from an Ojai-based entertainment company and Cirque du Soleil performers.

Be Green Packaging is a long-time supporter of the CEC and its mission of promoting environmental awareness through education and social outreach.  Some of the companies best and brightest attended this years event to show their support and celebrate sustainability in true Santa Barbara style.

To learn more about the CEC and their mission visit their website here: Santa Barbara Community Environmental Council

Be Green Team at the Green Gala

green gala tree people 2012

Cirque du Soleil Performers Dressed as Life-Size Trees


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